Ford sued following fatal rollover accident

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 23, 2012, 9:00am

TEXARKANA - The husband of a deceased Texas woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ford which claims the vehicle manufacturer was negligent in the design and manufacture of his wife's Ford Expedition and the negligence ultimately resulted in his wife's death in a rollover accident.

Mohammed Aref, individually and as independent administrator of the Estate of Sandra Louise Smith, deceased, and Rosemary Johnson filed suit against Ford Motor Co. on Jan. 17 in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division.

According to the complaint, on May 30, 2010, the plaintiffs were traveling eastbound on Interstate Highway 30 in a 2003 Ford Expedition. The suit claims the left rear tire catastrophically failed leading to a de-tread event which caused the vehicle to yaw and roll over.

Smith and Johnson were partially ejected despite being properly belted, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit argues that the vehicle was defective and unreasonably dangerous and ultimately caused the death of Smith and serious injuries of Johnson.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to design and manufacture a crashworthy vehicle, a vehicle with seatbelt pretensioners, ABTS seat design, with laminated glass or plastic-glass glazing rather than tempered glass, electronic stability control, and a vehicle with adequate rollover occupant protection systems.

Ford is also accused of negligence for failing to mitigate the risks of complete or partial occupant ejections by belted occupants during rollovers by the use of rollover protection and/or side curtain airbags.

Aref is seeking an award of damages for Smith's conscious pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical bills, funeral and burial expenses and for his pecuniary losses, loss of companionship and society, and loss of consortium, inheritance and society.

Johnson is seeking an award of damages for physical pain and mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement and medical care.

The plaintiffs are represented by Andrew L. Payne of Payne Mitchell Law Group in Dallas.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the case.

Case No. 5:12-cv-00006

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